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Connecting for the Continentals: Rookie Gozdz Hamilton’s best ever hitter

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Olivia Gozdz has 47 hits on the season.

WOMENS SOFTBALL

Freshman Hamilton College catcher Olivia Gozdz lit up her school-record 41st hit on April 24.

And breaking the Continentals’ single season record in her rookie year came as no surprise to her coach.

She picks her pitch and lets it rip.

— Hamilton coach Bill Spicer

“She was a great player in high school and in summer ball and things, so we had high expectations,” said Hamilton coach Bill Spicer. “And she came in here and certainly proved that she was able to play to those expectations.”

It was in a 13-8 win over Cazenovia College that Gozdz (DHS Class of 2012) clubbed her historic hit, when she came away with another one as well.

Since then, she’s kept right on connecting for the Continentals (13-20) in DIII.

Gozdz leads the team with 47 hits in 32 games, and has a Hamilton-high .461 batting average in 102 times up.

She’s scored 23 runs, has 12 doubles and as many RBI.

Gozdz is a former four-year slugger with DHS, helping the Wave to win its first back-to-back FCIAC titles in 20011 and last season.

“She’s a great player — obviously the type of student-athlete I am trying to recruit here,” Spicer said. “Someone who can contribute and contribute at a high level their first year, and get things rolling for us.

“She’s right up there with some of the best freshmen I’ve seen.”

She’s got a great technique, both swinging beside the plate and crouched behind the mask.

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Gozdz: “She’s right up there with some of the best freshmen.”

“She has that natural ability to make plays when she needs to,” Spicer said. “She’s very smart at the plate. She picks her pitch and lets it rip.”

Gozdz knows how to follow the ebb and flow of her surroundings as the game takes shape.

“Out in the field she’s quick and she knows space very, very well,” said Spicer. “And on the bases she is very crafty.”

Hamilton began its season training in Florida.

“She gets up at bat and boom! She hit the ball right away,” said Spicer of seeing her first pick up the bat. “It doesn’t take her long to find her pitch.”

Standout that she is, Gozdz meshes well with the rest of the team.

“The difference is, when Olivia hits the ball, it’s a sharp drive to the open areas,” Spicer said. “Base hits and doubles.”

Other teams are confident in her hitting too. Williams walked her three times last weekend.

As much as Hamilton strives to find players just like Gozdz to recruit, matching needles and haystacks might prove an easier task.

“Is she special? Absolutely,” Spicer added.

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Darien Times Sports Editor since 2000

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